Edith Wharton was an American novelist, short story writer, and designer. Wharton combined an insider's view of American aristocracy with a powerful prose style. Her novels and short stories realistically portrayed the lives and morals of the late nineteenth century, an era of decline and faded wealth. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1921, the first woman to receive this honor. Wharton was acquainted with many of the well-known people of her day, both in America and in Europe, including President Theodore Roosevelt.
François-Marie Arouet , known by his nom de plume Voltaire , was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church and Christianity as a whole and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech and separation of church and state.
Catherine Rosalind Russell was an American actress, comedian, screenwriter and singer, known for her role as fast-talking newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson in the Howard Hawks screwball comedy His Girl Friday , as well as for her portrayals of Mame Dennis in Auntie Mame and Rose in Gypsy . A noted comedian, she won all five Golden Globes for which she was nominated. Russell won a Tony Award in 1953 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Ruth in the Broadway show Wonderful Town . She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress four times throughout her career.